Serum homocysteine measurement is used to assess the risk of cardiovascular and brain events as well as in the control of patients with potential genetic diseases of methionine metabolism.
Homocysteine (HCY) is an amino acid derived from the metabolism of methionine with the participation of vitamins B complex cobalamin, folic acid, pyridoxine and riboflavin. The metabolism of methionine to homocysteine is offset by choline and betaine, coenzymes involved in the conversion of homocysteine back into methionine. Although the precise function of homocysteine is not clear, it is known that it can damage the vascular endothelium and participate in the induction of thrombi. High levels of homocysteine are known to signal risks in various areas.
Homocystinuria is a hereditary disease in which people who lack the enzymes that help control homocysteine levels suffer from serious cardiovascular disease at an early age. Hyperhomocysteinemia has been proven in recent years to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis, carotid stenosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and venous thrombosis.
Elevated levels of homocysteine are also associated with fetal neural tube abnormalities, late miscarriages, placental infarction, and impaired cognitive function in elderly patients. Homocysteine levels are higher in smokers, people who consume coffee, diabetics, and patients who are obese or hypertensive.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Alcohol consumption, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, follicular phase, menstrual cycle, giant cell arthritis, homocystinuria, hypothyroidism, hypoglycaemia, schizophrenia, vitamin deficiency (cobalamin, folic acid, pyridoxine). Medications: Metformin.
- Decrease: Hyperthyroidism. Medications: Keliprolol, folic acid, nevivolol, vitamin B12.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.